Make the Most of Your ArtPrize Visit

The eighth annual installment of ArtPrize is almost here and artists from around the world are descending upon Grand Rapids, stirring up the buzz and excitement that accompany the event.

If you’re planning a visit to enjoy the 1,453 works of art that will be displayed Sept. 21 to Oct. 9, 2016, make sure you make your visit spectacular by fully engaging in the experience with these tips.

Participate! ArtPrize organizers have made it easy to move from spectator to participant at this year’s event. Here are some ways you can join in:

  • ArtPrize Labs let families and people of all ages engage with art and creativity on a deeper level through activities, events, and expert-produced experiences. The Drop-In Studio is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the ArtPrize HUB/Headquarters and provides a self-directed creative experience. The STEAM Village Learning Lab is also located at the ArtPrize HUB and will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This lab combines art with science, technology, engineering and math concepts. The Mobile Workshop will tour within the ArtPrize boundaries downtown, bringing pop-up art-making to visitors. Find out where the lab will be daily on ArtPrize’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels.
  • The ArtPrize Passport Program encourages visitors to make it to as many of the eight neighborhood HUBs as they can! Passports are included in event guides, which can be picked up at any of the HUBs. Get yours stamped at five HUBs and you can enter to win prizes from ArtPrize and Founders Brewing Co. Collect all eight stamps and the ArtPrize Medallion sticker – only available at the Founders Brewing Co. tent at the ArtPrize Awards public viewing party at Rosa Parks Circle – and be entered to win a grand prize package.
  • Share your ArtPrize experience on social media. Tag your photos with #ArtPrize8 and you might be featured on official ArtPrize social channels or on the event’s blog.
  • Vote. The most unique aspect of ArtPrize is that visitors get to choose the winner of a $200,000 public vote grand prize. Find out how you can vote for your favorite artist here.  

Leave no trace.  ArtPrize organizers are focused on sustainability in a number of ways, making it easy for you to enjoy the festival-like atmosphere without increasing your environmental footprint. Make sure to:

  • Bring your own water bottle. The ArtPrize Water Share Program will help reduce the number of disposable plastic water bottles at the event. Get a sticker for your reusable water bottle at any of the neighborhood HUBs while supplies last and then fill it up at participating venues.
  • S.O.R.T. your trash. Stations will be set up throughout ArtPrize for refuse. Before you throw anything away, sort it and determine whether it belongs in the organic, recycling, or trash receptacles.
  • Take the bus or bike it. Visitors are encouraged to use alternative transportation to get downtown. Special bus passes are available during the event, park and ride locations are available at participating Meijer stores, and bike corrals are set up throughout the event.    

Don’t forget the music. Enjoy live music every day on the iconic Blue Bridge with 30-minute busking performances throughout the event and the Blue Bridge Music Festival taking place on Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1. Jukeboxes will also be placed throughout the city so you can listen to musicians and bands entered in the Blue Bridge Songwriters Awards.

Go big before you go home. You probably won’t be able to miss them, but just in case, be sure to check out the four inaugural Featured Public Projects, which will be installed at Vandenberg (Calder) Plaza, Ah-Nab-Awen Park, the Grand River and the Gillett Bridge. The artists behind these large-scale art projects received a total of $55,000 in grant funding to help bring their visions to life. Big artwork tends to attract crowds and votes, so don’t miss seeing these when you visit.

Check out pictures of last year’s top 20 public vote finalists. 

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Photo credit: John VanderHaagen

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